Lachlan Fitzgibbon reacts to Paul Gallen's dropped ball.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon reacts to Paul Gallen's dropped ball.

Knights find the perfect Paul Gallen sledge

NEWCASTLE back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon has revealed the cheeky sledge delivered at Cronulla captain Paul Gallen at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.

The Sharks needed to score in the dying minutes of the round-one clash to have any hope of winning the game, but then Gallen spilt the ball on a carry, effectively sealing the Newcastle victory.

A few of the Knights players could be seen giving a few words to the veteran prop, and Fitzgibbon told Triple M exactly what was said.

"We're not boys anymore and we're here to play," Fitzgibbon levelled at Gallen.

The younger Knights forward said he had plenty of respect for the former State of Origin and Test workhorse, but couldn't resist the opportunity to sledge Gallen.

"There was a bit of rubbish spoken on my behalf towards the great steward of our game ... he's going to go down as a legend," Fitzgibbon said.

"But there's no secret about some of the things he's said about Newcastle over the years. We've been beat up by the Sharks a few too many times over the years.

"Getting one over them, I think a bit of emotion spilt out."

After the win, Newcastle coach Nathan Brown asked Gallen to reconsider his condescending views from the past and begin to take the Novocastrians seriously.

"'As I've said Gal's made some comments and he was probably saying what numbers of other good, hardened forwards probably thought of us but aren't that way inclined to speak out publicly on what they think, but Gal's not frightened to say what he thinks,'' Brown said.

''I'm probably more interested to see what Gal thinks of us now. Coming in with the blokes we have playing and where some of the younger players, who have been through a tough time against them, it will be interesting to see if he thinks we're an improved footy side.

''That's the key for us and if you change the perception of people, the opposition forwards who are good players, if they start to think they're coming up on the bus and they're going to come home bruised, as Billy Peden put it in his speech to the boys the other day, that's a real big starting point for us because it hasn't been the case for a while.''

News Corp Australia

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